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“Loved Pompeii and Herculaneum - but this is top of our list!”
Review of Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica
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US$52.94*
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Ancient Ostia Small Group Day Trip from Rome
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US$70.59*
and up
Ancient Ostia Half-Day Trip from Rome
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US$62.35*
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Ancient Ostia Guided Tour for Kids and Families
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Present day site of sprawling ruins of a densely populated Roman city at the mouth of the river Tiber.
Londres, Royaume-Uni
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Loved Pompeii and Herculaneum - but this is top of our list!”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

We are surprised to learn that Italians and Romans are not all aware of how much Ostia Antica has to offer - perhaps because they associate the name with the seaside resort. Pompeii and Herculaneum have the dramatic accompanying story which makes their sites really interesting from a historical as well as a cultural and architectural point of view, but because of what happened to them, you do not get the same sense of what the places really looked like, whereas Ostia, which went into a period of decline rather than being damaged / destroyed really *does* give more of a sense and a feel of what it was like to live in Roman towns.

Other reviewers have described fully what the site has to offer, and I concur with them. It is packed full of places and mosaics, and there is a real 'freedom' in being able to wander around. I downloaded an app 'Ostia Antica' (about £3.50) which gave useful background and which I have enjoyed looking at later to 'picture' better what it all looked like. To be honest, I did not look at it that much during the visit itself even though it does offer three tours depending on the time you have. We found the signs at the site very helpful for giving background info in English and Italian. I also bought the book in the shop 'Ostia Antica' with overlays.

Some tips:

There is a really good site for preparation and follow up: http://www.ostia-antica.org/

Ostia Antica is closed on Mondays.

Travel from Rome: We used the 'Moovit' app to plan / confirm journeys. It took just under an hour from our hotel Fontanelle Borghese, and we enjoyed the 'experience' of travelling on public transport! The locals were kind and helpful! (Although most speak English, they really like it when you try out some Italian!) Our Roma Pass covered the journey. We took a bus number 30 which stops near the metro to the Piramide station, which is next door to the station called 'Ostiense' where we got a train to Ostia Antica. (You hold the Roma Pass over a sensor, like an Oyster card on the London Underground). Coming back the sensor did not work on the barrier to the station, so for the first time in my life, I had to jump over a barrier and then felt the need to explain to the carriage what had happened. Not easy!

Itinerary: We waited until the bookshop to buy the 2 euro map/plan - should have tried to get it sooner. There really is LOADS to see. We decided to see pretty much all of it at a leisurely place, arrived at around 11.30 am and left at about 6 pm. There was a sign saying 'no audio guides' at the entrance, but then we saw some people with audio guides later on.. so if you want one, perhaps ask about it at the entrance.

Practical: The pine trees offer good protection, but there are sections without shade, so take sun cream / hat for those bits! Comfortable shoes are a 'must'. (BTW, 'a must' appears to be an expression in Italian as well!) The café is great - air conditioned with clear glass so that you still feel as though you are outdoors and pleasant staff. The toilets are clean - some at the station, just outside and at the café.

An added extra at the moment is the exhibition of sculpture 'In Praise of Beauty' by Francesco Messina (1900-1995). Lovely sculptures both in the grounds and in the museum.

Visited August 2014
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6 Thank HelenMyers007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A mini Pompeii”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Well preserved ancient roman port. Roman baths, mosaics, housing, streets, forum , ampitheatres and temples here. Not as grand as Pompeii but worth a half day trip nonetheless. Bring your own picnic. Sculptures can be viewed inside a museum on site for no extra charge .

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Gazzamundi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rome
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A "must" for a trip outside Rome”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

This is one of my favourite places for a trip outside Rome. It's a massive archeological site of what used to be the main port for the imperial city. It is huge, well preserved and is wonderful to stroll around for hours or a full day. With the ruins of ancient Roman theatres, bars and warehouses it has little to envy Pompeii or Herculaneum even though it is far less well known. It's very easy to get to by train from the Porta San Paolo station next to Piramide metro stop, and alternatively you used to be able to get a boat ride down there on the Tiber from the centre of Rome, though I'm not sure if that still goes.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank gavinRome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Broomfield, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“If you like ruins and history, this place has it all!”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We enjoyed wandering around this site, imagining the greatness of the past, and learning the history of the Romans. Everything was open to view - not roped off - and the available phone app by Rick Steves gave us all the information we needed and more. On an extremely hot day, there was shade among the ruins, and a delightful little snack bar with gelato. Very refreshing and the pace at the site was slow and enjoyable. Amazing photo opportunities, as well.

Visited June 2014
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1 Thank pleskar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Vast ruins to explore”
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

These ruins are vast with tons of different buildings to explore. Our kids had a blast running around sights like the amphitheater, temples, mosaics and of course bathrooms!

It's also not crowded (like Pompeii) which is a huge plus.

There are a few different water stations where we stopped for a drink and to rinse off our heads. There is also a nice cafe although we would recommend bringing snacks too so you can stop whole exploring.

Enjoy!

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1 Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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